Quick Hits: Georgia Southern overmatched by No. 6 LSU season opener, 55-3

Georgia Southern's defense allowed 473 yards from LSU in their season opening loss. 

McClain Baxley

BATON ROUGE, LA — In its season opener against No. 6 LSU, the Georgia Southern football team struggled to have just about anything go its way, falling 55-3. 

The Eagles will look to bounce back against Maine next week in Paulson Stadium.

Here’s a quick look at the season opening loss: 

Top performers

While players across the country had the chance to begin their Heisman campaign, LSU’s Joe Burrow made his start felt. The senior went 23-27 for 278 yards and five touchdowns. He ran LSU’s new RPO offense perfectly, having an experienced GS defense guessing all night. Waiting until the last moment to pull the ball back to dump it off for a quick screen, Burrow made a strong opening statement.

Though the GS defense was exposed for much of the game, redshirt-junior Rashad Byrd made his presence felt. The linebacker flew all over the field, ending his night with 16 total tackles, seven being solo. In his first game as a captain, Byrd vocally and visibly tried to keep a suffering defense’s spirits up. 

Key stat

Staying on the trend of Burrow’s fantastic night, he tied a long-standing LSU record in his performance Saturday night. With his five touchdown passes, Burrow tied Zach Mettenberger’s five touchdown night against UAB in 2013.

Key play

On the first drive of the game, LSU made quick work of the Eagles. The home team used six plays to go 75 yards and just 2:24 off the clock. The drive was capped with Burrow hitting a wide open Ja’Marr Chase in the endzone for a 13 yard touchdown. LSU’s quickness noticeable wore out the GS defense, setting the tone for the night.

Notables

It was an injury-laden game for the visitors, with Shai Werts, Justin Ellis suffering game-ending injuries and Matt LaRoche being momentarily taken out. Werts went down in the second quarter after a big hit to end a 10 yard gain. The two-year starter trotted back out for a few more plays before being deemed doubtful to return. He was later seen on the sideline with his right arm in a sling. In his first game in more than a year, Ellis went down in the third quarter and needed two trainers to carry him off the field. 

GS’ lone points on the night were provided by Tyler Bass. The redshirt senior hit a 47 yard field goal perfectly with 5:13 left in the first half. 

43 Eagles didn’t make the trip to Louisiana, but the two biggest names on the list were punter Magill Bauerle and running back Wesley Kennedy III. Both returning starters were suspended and deemed academically ineligible by the NCAA. 

The announced attendance was 97,420 in Tiger Stadium. That’s the second biggest crowd a GS football team has played in front of, behind the 101,821 at Alabama in 2011. 

McClain Baxley, The George-Anne Editor-in-Chief, [email protected]